A Familiar Theme Reoccurs

A common theme throughout this blog has been the seemingly endless parade of shitty decisions that land at my feet. These are the kinds of things that have to be decided on for life to move forward, but which have no clear cut right and wrong choice, or if there is a right choice it comes with consequences that make it difficult to bear.  The past couple weeks have seen a reoccurrence of this theme in ways that I had hoped I would not deal with again.

When I last wrote on this blog I was struggling with a professional decision. I had been offered the opportunity to work on the water again, but I would have been gone a great deal and missed some important family events. Of course this sacrifice was going to be rewarded with a salary the likes of which I had never seen before, which would have solved a lot of our day to day struggles around here. The very moment I was made aware of this opportunity I shook my head and mumbled something about “timing”, another theme I seem to see a lot of, and wished to myself that this had a popped up two or three years ago. At the end of the day taking the job was going to involve giving over a little more of myself than I was willing too at this time. I have mixed emotions about turning down the opportunity. I have never in my life been presented with an opportunity that I was so uniquely qualified for. It was bizarre how the job requirements matched up with my experience and qualifications, and I think I would have liked the job. Even my wife couldn’t honestly say we had made the right call as she watched the prospect for that kind of income vanish.

One of the reasons for turning down the job that I didn’t talk a lot about, but was always there under the surface, was my health circumstances. I have already seen what happens when I am put in situations I am not comfortable with when my head isn’t quite right. I had real concerns that making a change of this magnitude where a significant amount of the control I have over my schedule, and therefore what I must do when I am not feeling well,  would be turned over to a relative stranger may not work out well. I have been struggling with my medication free existence and am looking to get things on an even keel not turn them upside down. At this point as long as I don’t lose my curret employment I think the decision was right for now, and I even managed to turn it down while keeping the door cracked for any future possibilities.

My mental health has been anything but predictable over the last few weeks. I introduced my readership to my not so good friend Freddie some time ago, and as always he has remained steadily in the background, while occasionally stepping into the forefront trying to steal the show. Other than off and on feelings of general unease, and one horrible timed night of insomnia (I doubt very much the timing was coincidental), much of the flat out feelings of anxiety have been reasonably controlled. Of course “reasonably controlled” is a far cry from where I was just prior to stopping Wellbutrin and I was certainly hopeful that things would be better than that.

The last several days has brought with it a change that has proven to be the proverbial straw that broke camel’s back. I have seen a return of the gastro intestinal symptoms that have always been the weather gauge of my mental state. Long time followers of this blog my recall that when depression and anxiety first appeared in my life in a debilitating sort of way the first symptom was actually stomach upset for which I was subject to countless horrible tests to determine that nothing was wrong with me. It was an awful time I hope to never repeat. I am now on at least four consecutive days of stomach pain and gas with significant diarrhea for the past two days. It has reached the point where I have begun to worry about leaving the house or going on the boat with my father, which means it has reached the point where I am no longer going to deal with it. I made the decision this morning to make the phone call, and I have spoken with my shrink’s nurse. I requested a prescription for 150MG of Wellbutrin XL. I am not happy about this and am not terribly confident that it will even work. In the past when the stomach upset really gets going the only solution has been the SSRI type drugs, which come with their own problems that I will magnify other ongoing challenges I am dealing with making them less than ideal. It is my hope the Wellbutrin combined with my improved diet (down 30 pounds now) will settle things down some, of course the probably means a semi permanent goodbye to my new friend the mocha latte.

I am still waiting for the call back from the doc saying that the RX has been called in, but I don’t anticipate there will be a problem. It will be hard to swallow that first pill. I wrote here when I stopped taking the medication that the doc pissed me off a little by preparing me for the possibility of going back on them. I knew it was a possibility and while he was trying to be helpful his words are doing nothing make this easier. The decision has always been mine not his, and sometimes making the right decision is the hardest thing to do. There really should be no down side to this. I should feel better with minimal side effects, but there is something about having been completely chem free and having to go back that really sticks in my throat.

Advertisements

Busy Busy Busy

It has been a couple weeks since I last posted and the truth is I will probably be somewhat sporadic over the rest of the summer and early fall. This time of year I have very little “me” time. My wife is off for the summer, and I work six or seven days a week through October. I have trouble putting together coherent sentences in rooms full of distractions, and most topics I discuss here I don’t exactly want people looking over my shoulder while I am writing. On a side note I would like to thank “Working Through The Madness” and Fractured Angel for nominating me for awards. I will find the time to put a post together for that shortly.

It has been a crazy couple weeks. I have again been presented with a job opportunity that is creating a great deal of stress in my life. If I could have designed my dream job five or ten years ago this opportunity would have been very close, but things change and the time commitment and impact on my family is making it hard to get excited about. It is driving boats, but it is not fishing, and it is not what I really want to be doing right now. On the other hand there is no guarantee I will ever be able to go fishing again, and financially this job would be great for my family. After mulling it over for the past week I have decided there is no good decision to be made here. I will lose something no matter which path I choose. I hate decisions like this, and it sure seems as if my life has had a disproportionate number of them in the past ten years.

With all this added stress my anxiety levels have been pretty high, but I am surviving medication free. I am not sure surviving is the quality of life I am going for, but I think I am going to let it ride a little longer and see how things go. Without the chemical controls in place I have been learning a great deal about what increases my risk for anxiety attacks and have been working at cutting back on those things. It is the standard list, diet, exercise, fatigue, etc. Fatigue seems to be a major factor, and the one I have the least amount of control over with all the demands on my time right now, but I am doing ok. It would be nice to have a nice stable four to six months with no significant external stressors and see how life goes. Depression doesn’t seem to be a factor for me these days, though I am aware that prolonged high anxiety is going to make me more susceptible to a lowered mood so I am watching myself carefully.

I had gotten in the habit lately of posting some music to my blog so I will leave you with a song. It has no particular meaning to me, but the music and lyrics make me smile, and I find myself moving to the music and singing the words without thinking about. There are never enough things out there to make people smile, and I hope it puts a little shine it your day also…

 

Colder Weather

 

In many ways this song puts to music my experience with depression and anxiety, It was never intended to speak to those issues, but the mood of the music and the lyrics are something I can relate to far beyond any literal intentions. The songs true inspiration was the love interest of a musician in the band. He was touring the northern tier of the country and she was in Kansas City. He and his band mates were chasing their musical dreams and he just wasn’t able to put in the effort to make things work. He was literally “stuck in colder weather”.

For me the colder weather is more reflective of the darker days of my life. These darker days almost caused me to leave a special girl behind and they did cause me to leave a great deal of the things that defined me and gave me joy. I have found my way back to some of these things, but others are gone forever. These things aren’t to be mourned. Life works in funny ways and lately I have been finding myself in milder climates, using the parlance of the song, and I am finding new joys, while allowing myself the fond memories of those closed chapters.

It is a beautiful song. I hope you enjoy it.

 

Relationship Wisdom From Bob Marley

He’s not perfect. You aren’t either, and the two of you will never be perfect. But if he can make you laugh at least once, causes you to think twice, and if he admits to being human and making mistakes, hold onto him and give him the most you can. He isn’t going to quote poetry, he’s not thinking about you every moment, but he will give you a part of him that he knows you could break. Don’t hurt him, don’t change him, and don’t expect for more than he can give. Don’t analyze. Smile when he makes you happy, yell when he makes you mad, and miss him when he’s not there. Love hard when there is love to be had. Because perfect guys don’t exist, but there’s always one guy that is perfect for you. –Bob Marley

The truth is, everyone is going to hurt you. You just got to find the ones worth suffering for. – Bob Marley